Quinn and coaching staff on COVID Protocol, Fox and Buchnevich return

Two hours before tonight’s game, there is more news involving the Rangers. When they play the Flyers for the second time in three nights, they’ll be without the entire coaching staff.

Coach David Quinn along with assistants Jacques Martin, David Oliver and Greg Brown will be out due to COVID Protocol. In their place will be Hartford Wolfpack coach Kris Knoblauch, Gord Murphy and Associate GM Chris Drury. Knoblauch will be the acting coach for tonight’s game.

As the Covid turns, both Adam Fox and Pavel Buchnevich were removed from the Protocol. They’ll each return to the lineup.

There isn’t much to add. Getting Fox back solidifies a defense that struggled on Monday night. Particularly the K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba pairing. Without Fox, the team allowed two power play goals and weren’t as good defensively at even strength. The power play also stunk.

Getting Buchnevich back should really boost the top line which had a bad game in the 5-4 overtime loss. Kaapo Kakko was so bad that he was demoted to the third line in favor of Alexis Lafreniere. Buchnevich’s return can allow Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider to play together with their top right wing, who’s tied with Artemi Panarin in scoring with 22 points.

Figure Kakko and Lafreniere to drop back down to line three with Filip Chytil, who had a good game the other day. As for who comes out, that remains to be seen. Both Brett Howden and Brendan Lemieux combined for a Kevin Rooney goal. Julien Gauthier scored a beauty. He also took three penalties including a hi-sticking double minor on Claude Giroux that allowed the Flyers to tie the score. It looks like he’s out.

It’ll be an interesting decision. Figure Tarmo Reunanen will come out of the lineup despite recording his first NHL assist on an Artemi Panarin goal. One other note. Anthony Bitetto returned to practice yesterday. So, he’s getting closer.

Alex Georgiev gets the start in net. It’s an opportunity to get back on track. His struggles have been well documented. The Rangers need him to be steady and make the key saves. Keith Kinkaid backs up.

The game can be seen exclusively on NBCSN at 7:30 EST. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! ☘

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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